About that supposed full bloom ...
Can't get enough of the corpse: Flower crowd swells so much that HMNS opensPlanetarium for free
Any notion that Houston is growing sick of the infamously waffling corpse flower that rules the Houston Museum of Natural Science evaporated like an ice cube would in the tropical climate that the plant prefers (one that HMNS' crammed-hallway viewing area is approximating more and more).
For on day 12 of the bloom watch — one full day after almost every TV station in the Bayou City reported that the rare corpse flower was fully blooming in the biggest premature call since Dan Rather declared Al Gore the winner of the 2000 presidential election, or at least since a false Bachelorette pick — the flower named Lois didn't change all that much.
But the crowds sure did.
The biggest weeknight crowd yet flooded HMNS Thursday night and waits swelled to two hours. It became so packed that museum officials opened the Planetarium and let people in it for free to give the masses something else to do. Of course, everyone still fixated on the chance to pay $8 to see Lois — who still hasn't done much of anything in the last 24 hours.
The corpse flower still hasn't dropped its petals. It still doesn't smell much at all (let alone make anyone run from the room with rotting flesh odor repulsion). No one at the museum is close to calling it the start of full bloom — the four-to-six hour (in theory) finish that will finally reveal Lois to the world.
Instead, it's more painfully slow progress. Even those stuck in the worst of the record lines around 9 p.m. Thursday night moved a lot more than Lois in their shuffle up the stairs to the corpse flower level of the Cockrell Butterfly Center.
Yet the mood in the lines has remained overwhelming upbeat — and HMNS' Lois web cam also received a record number of viewers Thursday.
When you're in love, you'll put up with a lot.